Sep 27 2016 0

Why Customer Service Deserves More of Your Attention

If it is so obvious to every executive that customer service is a critical element of their company’s success, why is their customer service failing so often? This customer service infographic from Econsultancy demonstrates how bad the situation has become. Here are a few particularly nerve-racking data points:

  • Nearly 80% of consumers have quit in the middle of a transaction because of poor customer service.
  • 89% of consumers say they have moved on to a competitor after a bad customer service experience.
  • Most Americans still prefer traditional methods of connecting with customer service reps. So, adopting new communication channels (e.g. social media) or technology does not appear to be the problem. At Rush Order, we see this play out in our call center operations as well… Phone and email are still king. Social media is way behind but growing quickly.
  • Of the consumers who use newer tools like social media, they are likely to spend 20-40% more than other consumers. Wow, this phenomenon can provide a nice bump in sales if a company knew how to capitalize on it.
  • Only 37% of brands receive “good” or “excellent” customer experience reviews. BUT, only 26% of companies have a solid strategy for customer service improvement. Translation: Consumers don’t like you and you aren’t doing anything to fix it.

How is it possible that 74% of companies do not have a solid strategy for improving customer service? One answer from our experience:

When clients come to Rush Order in seek of a better customer service operation, we find that no existing strategy is in place because there is no starting point. Specifically, there are almost no metrics in place for the old customer service operation. You can’t improve what you have not measured. Without a starting point, there is no way to know what is up or down.

Here a few easy metrics to start tracking today. This is a just start, but simply taking that first step is the biggest challenge for 74% of companies…

  • Number of tickets created over a desired timeframe: A timeframe of a day or week is a good place to start. What is helping to reduce overall inquiry volume? e.g. More FAQs? Videos? Forums? etc.
  • Number of tickets solved over the same time-frame: Are you resolving customers’ issues in a timely fashion?
  • Average queue time: (for phone) Customers left on hold are going to be less happy. Simple. Are you are understaffed? Is average call length affecting all customers?
  • Average call length: Drives queue times, customer satisfaction, and costs.
  • Average time to first response: (email & social media) Fast solutions = happy customers
  • Topic or reason for the contact: For example, track topics like order status, new order, in-warranty RMA, broken mount, battery won’t charge, etc. Cross reference the total tally for each topic with average call length to find opportunities for potential cost reduction and improved service. Also cross reference the topics to satisfaction scores and individual rep performance to figure out who needs additional training or resources on specific topics.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Are you asking customers to tell you if they were satisfied with your company service? A simple yes or no with a comment field is probably sufficient. Tie these feedback scores to individual customer service rep performance.
  • Reason for return: This is similar to tracking topics. When customers do decide they bought something from you that they no longer want, what reasons are they citing? Use this information to better set customer expectations up front, improve your products, provide better self service (e.g. website, FAQs, forums, etc.) and train your customer service reps on these issues. All of these initiatives can boost customer satisfaction and help prevent costly returns.
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